- Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants
- Conductor: William Christie
- Composer: Marc-Antoine Charpentier
- Audio CD (31 Mar. 2008)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Harmonia Mundi
- ASIN: B0012OQZXE
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,379 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Charpentier: Te Deum, Missa Assumpta est Maria, Litanies de la Vierge CD
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...One corner-stone of Harmonia Mundi's success has been the exploitation of a genre of French music that had long been a closed book even to devoted searchers of the offbeat and obscure...What treasures [the French Baroque repertiore] turned out to contain: foremost among them the music of Marc-Antoine Charpentier...The resplendent and familiar Te Deum is given an electrifying reading in Christie's best hyperactive style, with charming French Latin. Also included on the reissue is one of Charpentier's several settings of the Laurentian Litany: Litanies a la Vierge, H83 is exquisitely scored for six voices and two treble viols and is ravishing even by Charpentier's standards. --Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review, May 2008
Top Customer Reviews
The trumpets and drums of the Te Deum are spectacular in the acoustic of the church of Notre Dame du Travail in Paris. The acoustic space seems vast without overpowering any instrumental detail. The more intimate scoring of Missa “Assumpta est Maria” and the austere Litanies de la Vierge (for six voices and two treble viols) float in mystical space without any reverberations.
Simply stunning at every level. This is a hybrid SACD which when heard in surround sound is a miracle of sound recording.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It impresses me and gladdens me to see an American conductor who has become an excellent interpreter of the French Baroque; his expertise shines through his recordings, and this one is a good example. Recordings of Charpentier's TE DEUM, with its celebrated opening Prelude are plentiful. However, much less favored by recording companies is the beautiful Mass ASSUMPTA EST MARIE, which Christie wisely includes in this release along with the most extended of Charpentier's nine settings of the LITANIES DE LA VIERGE. So many of Charpentier's strengths as a composer of sacred vocal music are evident in these works, that we might regard this disc as a culmination of all that Christie has thus explored.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier(1645-50?-1704) was the most distinguished French religious composer of his era, and his output includes 11 masses and numerous motets, psalms and oratorios, many of them extended works rich in texture, color and harmony, and contrapuntally resourceful; melodically he devised a distinctive style, imposing French embellishment and phrase- structure on a basically Italian idiom. His 30 or so theater pieces reveal wit and facility.
Christie's interpretation of the TE DEUM imbues it with an air of expectancy as do the soloists. It has ceremonial grandeur and fervor. The Prelude itself is performed with exuberance and vigor and this spirit prevails throughout the canticle.
The MASS,a masterly work, is a stong contrast to the TE DEUM. It contains passages of such beauty that may be unmatched amongst Charpentier's compositions, and was certainly his last Mass dating from 1702. In this version it is scored fo 4 part strings, recorders, continuo, six-part chorus and a solo group of two sopranos, countertenor, tenor, baritone and bass. Christie displays his customary insight as he performs this very affective music. The sublimely tender opening of the Credo is exquisitely treated.
The LITANIES DE LA VIERGE (1680's)is scored for six soloists(3 high voices, ct.,T and B) who unite for the six-part chorus, 2 treble viols and continuo. The singers blend skillfully both conveying the music's radience and its more reflective character. William Christie definitely has the ability to choose singers with great talent and voices that sound like they have just arrived from the Celestial Realm. On this recording there are five sopranos, notable are Veronica Gens and Noeemi Rime who I must guess are the soloists since they are the first on the list; four countertenors notable are Gilles Ragon and Edouard Denoyellel; three tenors, notable being Jean-Paul Fouchecourt; five basses notable are Bernard Deletre and Jean-Francois Gardeil. However, I hasten to say that the Choir sounds absolutely superb as does the Orchestra.
The 27 page booklet is in German, French and English; includes the text in the same languages. This is a most enjoyable listening experience!!!!